Confession time. I have been living in the midst of a self-care fail for most of the last year.
Can we just talk about the crazy high costs of mental health? Because, well, this is the current financial problem I’ve been wrestling with for a few months now, and, as we all know, most of the topics I cover here are just how finance relates to whatever is going on in my life at the moment.
So I’ve had an anxiety disorder since I was 10 – one of those awesome, panic attacks and blackout types, that led me to missing out on a lot of fun times and spending a fair amount of time staring down a psychiatrist during my teenage years… because adult Mel realizes you actually have to talk at therapy to get any help, but teenage Mel was pretty pissed off and not talking with some strange dude about what was going on in her life.
Anyway, I was pretty thoroughly medicated until halfway through college just so I could function daily, but I hated the medication. So I stopped taking it and learned how to pray through panic attacks.
Yes, I realize how crazy that sounds (though there are bazillions of studies about the power of meditation) and I would never, ever recommend to anyone that they just stop taking any prescribed medication.
That being said, it actually worked for me for a long time. Until it stopped working for me. And over the past few years, I’ve definitely noticed a slow slide out of having everything under control, which culminated this year in life mostly feeling like an overwhelming struggle.
And between my insane work schedule and the cost of medical help… this just kept falling to the back burner.
Until last month. Last month I looked at my finances and read up a little on my health care and thought, I’m going to take care of this problem. This is just stupid to live like this when I could be getting help.
So I called the first 6 psychiatrists listed by my health care provider and, despite the fact that they were all listed as accepting new patients, not one of them could fit me in until several months later.
Is it just me, or is that just nuts? I mean, even just admitting you need help with something like this is exhausting and draining and difficult to do. I finally take a few steps in the right direction and there are just road blocks everywhere.
I started hunting other options at time ticked by and before I knew it, I was out on another tour. It also occurred to me that this lifestyle might not change anytime soon anyway, so I probably ought to look at mental health care providers who can meet via Skype – which, thanks to a former cast member, I learned is a thing.
A quick Google search did pop up several places where licensed therapists and psychiatrists take appointments via Skype – of course, none are covered under my health care plan and the average cost is $200/hour.
Seriously? I’m a little irritated with my health care coverage, because I don’t think you should have to wait 3 months to get help from someone in-network just so I can pay $35/visit instead.
But also, there’s probably a point when spending $400 or so a month to fix a problem is worth it. It’s a fine line to walk. And one that will probably only end in failure.
So. Since this blog has kept me accountable in so many excellent financial ways, I’m throwing it out there that an additional goal for 2016 is to sort this issue out… hopefully for less than $400 a month.
Or I’ll write a blog post about what the expenses are when you’re hospitalized because of a nervous breakdown. Either way, hopefully it’ll be good reading.
Have you ever put off something you knew you needed to do because of the expense? Did it blow up in your face or did you manage to walk the fine line successfully?